All of Us!

All of Us!
Finally! All together with enough time to spare (??) to capture a picture of all six of us in the same spot, same time. Now this is a precious photo! I tried to get one last year for our Christmas card and didn't succeed. So when I had the chance I threw out the lasso and rounded everyone up (at my niece's graduation party) to grab a couple snapshots. My oldest son, Casey, and his girlfriend Nika are on the left; and my youngest son, Brady, and his girlfriend Jenne on the right; that leaves Bob and I in the center. (Bob is the one who doesn't look very happy about having his picture taken!!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kicking It Back With A Little Me and Gal Pal Time

I spent the early part of my evening last night with one of my best gal pals, Kim. We went to a concert in the park series. It is only for the month of July so I was finally able to sneak one in before the month ends. The last concert is next week.

I’ve never really given to myself the time of relaxation with friends much lately and this was a big treat. Kim and I shared a night out on the town a couple weeks ago, and that was fun but last night was just pure kickback relaxation. I have to say that I’m truly looking forward to next week’s and am sad that it will be over for the summer. My mind will now just have to ruminate a little to find the next form of get-out-there-and-relax ideas.

I got to Kim’s house at about 6:20 and after she gave me the tour of the house, we sat for a couple minutes jawing about this and that. Then she, her daughter Emily and I packed up our stuff into my car and off we went to the park to find a spot to sit. Upon unloading the car about a half a block from the park and as we walked closer, a couple of Kim’s friends were wildly waving her down to come park ourselves where they had last week. Chairs unpacked, our coolers opened up, sunglasses on – it was time to sit back, feel the breeze and take in some music. Okay, there was no breeze, the temperature was 84, heat index 86, humidity 42% and the dew point was 60. Not exactly what you would call the perfect weather to be sitting back and enjoying the night, but it was still young and the mosquitos hadn’t found us yet. There is always a pro side to things – you may have to think about it for a while – but there’s always the positive.

Kim opened up a bottle of wine for Emily and her to partake in. I chose an ice cold bottle of . . . water from my cooler to start out with. Funny, but I packed beer and water and the only things I could find digging in there was beer – I think they were saying “drink me, drink me.” But at the moment I needed a water quencher first. As we sat there and talked -- okay, my husband would say the proper term is “gabbed” – I had an actual sense of tranquility. With three-quarters of my water bottle down, I decided to opt to bring out the big guns and had an ice cold beer. Now I was down to business – yep, pure relaxation.

Next, we brought out the Parmesan and Basil Wheat Thins (my newest find – yum), cheese, sausage, crackers, grapes. With their bottle of wine gone, Kim and Emily decided the beer was going to be just as good for them, too. Kim’s friends brought out some homemade salsa that I have to say, was really to die for. It had black-eyed peas, tomatoes, peppers, mango, beans and more in it and was really more on the sweet side. It was refreshing on the crackers and on some tortilla chips. What more could you ask for at this point. I wasn’t really hungry so a little nibbling was all I needed. For a little over an hour-and-a-half concert, that one beer and part of the bottle of water was all I needed for the thirst, too. I must have really been unwinding.

Jeena Salzer and her band from Milwaukee provided the music last night. Although I could not tell you what songs were played, except for one noticeable Lady Gaga song, it was the backdrop one needs when you are out in the open air and kicking back. More of Kim’s old classmates gathered to sit with us and we had our own little line-up of people amongst the tons of other people who had congregated to partake in the community event.

It gave one time to sit back and watch people – one of my favorite pastimes with time permitted. As we were sitting more toward the top of the hill, most of the people who were there were below us. Right next to us was a “Pie Me” stand. It consisted of a sheet of plywood painted up with the words “Pie Me” and the name of the charity or organization it benefitted plus the necessary hole. The workers were young kids. Those who did the “pie-ing” were mostly little kids, ranging in ages of a toddler to maybe 6-7 year olds, who got a kick out of just doing the pie-ing. Hmmm...makes you wonder if they will try this at home. But it was the young workers who were taking a pie in the face who seemed like they enjoyed their “job” more than dreaded it. If a little one missed, they would pick up the paper plate decorated with whipping cream and spread it on their face. They would then proudly parade around the area with their face covered in white cream. Good thing that is not fattening or high in calories. The stand didn’t get a lot of business, but yet it got just enough that the rest of us who were close by were clearly entertained.

Also entertaining was watching the dancers. If you looked down toward the stage, there were quite a few that swirled and bobbed and jiggled and juggled with their inhibitions and shyness left in the closet for the night. Their ages are hard to say but I would venture to guess that they started at one year old and went all the way up to around . . . 10 years old. Yep, no oldies but goodies out there last night, just a crowd of youngies. Oh, to be that young again when you didn’t care who was watching you when you were out on the dance floor; when you didn’t care if your booty or your arms jiggled more than they did a few years ago; if you tripped or missed a step that you would be worried about who saw you; that if you got down on the ground and did a little wiggle, you didn’t make a fool of yourself. I suppose those days may come soon enough when I am older and might do those little jigs and not care or worry about who is watching. I probably just won’t know or realize it at that point! Hahaha!

But the dancing didn’t stop at the stage. The little ones who were too little to make their way down to the stage area were dancing all around us where we sat. There was the cutest little redheaded girl, about 2-3 years old, in front of us who got her boogie on. She was wiggling her butt to the music, shaking her arms up in the air like she was saying “hallelujah” and twirling around as if she were on her own little personal merry-go-round. To the right of our chairs was another little redheaded boy who was probably about one. He would walk or toddle up and down the hill, dancing a little, going from point A to point B until one of his parents, taking turns, would come scoop him up, take him up the hill, just for him to start back down again. Yes, there is something to be said about having grown-up children – you can remember the days when you used to have to chase after them, but that is just it – you don’t have to leave your chair thinking about it.

Then there was the older, fit gentleman Kim nicknamed “Condor” because he hiked up and down the hill constantly going after this or after that. His neck stuck out from his body the same as a condor does. It was more pronounced as he walked back up the hill. He would pat the little redheaded boy on the head as he passed him up or down the hill. He was definitely getting his exercise.

As I sat and took in the whole scene, it was fun just to watch the different little groups of people. There were the groups of friends, groups of middle-age women, younger mothers with their children, families, groups with extended families, groups of couples, all out for the night at a free, fun event on a sultry summer night. Sitting there toward the end of the evening with a little breeze beginning to kick up and the damp air starting to set in, I complimented Kim on a great idea in inviting me along. As we packed our stuff up, we decided that we would do this again next week. Kim mentioned that next week’s musical entertainer would be Willy Porter and her friends chimed in to say that they have heard great things about him. When I got up this morning, I went on-line to check out Willy Porter. He is a folk singer and songwriter and I was able to listen to little clips of his songs. Indeed, he is good and with hearing what I did, I am truly looking forward to next week’s concert.

Interestingly, though, being so relaxed last night with two hours of carefree time, I still contemplated asking Kim’s friend, Cory for her salsa recipe – see, I can’t seem to stay out of the kitchen even when I am outside enjoying the open air. Cory seemed very proud of the salsa (and, boy, she should be) and I was afraid she would shoot me down if I asked for the recipe. So, I think I will just have to try doing some “research” and see if I can come up with something similar. It might take a few tries, but hey, it is all in the name of “research” and I don’t mind sacrificing a few tomatoes, peppers, beans, etc., in the name of “research.”

Dang, but this relaxation thing just puts me in the mood for more work. I’m feeling like a hamster on that never-ending wheel.